If the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain, where does the rain go in Rome? Well, smack dab in the middle of the clay courts of the Italian Open, of course! All scheduled matches on Wednesday have now officially been cancelled. While the tournament director hoped to get the night session underway, the soggy clay has turned to mud – along with the best-laid tournament plans.
Hopefully the meteorologists are right and the soggy skies will give way to brilliant sunshine. Just in time for one of the biggest blockbuster days tennis has ever seen. All the biggest names will be in action. And, some will play twice.
How Rome will finish on time
The intense training and fanatical fitness that professional tennis players endure will be put to the test. For those fortunate enough to win their match, a second match will be played later. Seven courts will see at least 40 matches when two days are combined into a single day. It will be grueling for these players but splendid for tennis enthusiasts.
While the tournament team may be disappointed, the ticket holders are the biggest winners. The controversial price increase marking Roger’s return to Rome soon became a discussion of refunds. How would the tournament refund these high priced tickets, should play begin but not be completed? What could have been a catastrophe is now a boon. There was no play today so all tickets are good for the marathon matches of Thursday.
The day’s schedule has not yet been released, but we do know this: play will begin at 4:00 am Eastern, 1:00 am Pacific, and 10:00 am in Rome. And, they will need every available minute. There were tough second round WTA matches and equally as dangerous ATP line ups – all expected to push the two plus hours mark. With that, we may well see play continue into the wee hours of Friday, as all Round of 32 matches and Round of 16 matches are squeezed in. No word on when the doubles matches may be scheduled.